Ever since Donald Trump won the Republican nomination for president, politics has dominated the national conversation. That rising interest in politics has been reflected in book sales. Through the first four months of 2018, unit sales of the top 50 bestselling titles in NDP BookScan’s political science category were up 83% over the same period last year. That increase doesn’t even factor in James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty, which, in its first two weeks on sale, has sold more than 446,000 print copies. Although very political in nature, A Higher Loyalty falls in BookScan’s biography/autobiography category, where it is far and away the bestseller in that segment so far this year.
The big winner in the politics category is Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s tell-all title about the Trump White House, which has now sold more than 983,000 copies, according to BookScan. Fire and Fury is not only this year’s top-selling political book; it’s also the bestselling book overall. And although it has only been out since April 17, A Higher Loyalty has edged out A Wrinkle in Time for the second spot on the overall bestseller list through April.
Sales of many political titles have been boosted by extensive author media appearances. In addition to a media blitz for Comey and Wolff when Higher Loyalty and Fire and Fury were first published, a number of authors have been making regular appearances on talk shows.
In second place in the political category is Michael Isikoff and David Corn’s Russian Roulette, which examines Russian hacking in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The Trump administration does have its defenders, though. Jerome Corsi’s Defeating the Deep State has sold more than 42,000 copies and is #5 on the politics bestseller list. Corey Lewandowski, who served for a time as Trump’s campaign manager, is in 11th place on the category list with Let Trump Be Trump, which has sold more than 29,000 copies this year.
A number of titles offer a dark take on the political climate: Fascism by Madeleine Albright, On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder, and How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt are all among the top 20 political bestsellers this year. Most of the books in the top 20 have been released in the past six months, highlighting readers’ interest in learning more about what is occurring in Washington, where things seem to change from day to day. One of the most popular titles, however, was written over 230 years ago, and a newly published version is #6 on the politics bestsellers chart: The Constitution of the United States.
Bestselling Political Books Through April
|1||Fire and Fury||Michael Wolff||983,167|
|2||Russian Roulette||Michael Isikoff||108,528|
|3||Secret Empires||Peter Schweizer||65,874|
|4||Fascism||Madeleine Korbel Albright||62,099|
|5||Killing the Deep State||Jerome R. Corsi||42,174|
|6||The Constitution||National Center for Constitutional Studies||38,236|
|7||On Tyranny||Timothy Snyder||37,514|
|8||It’s Even Worse than You Think||David Cay Johnston||33,954|
|9||How Democracies Die||Steven Levitsky||33,853|
|10||The 48 Laws of Power||Robert Greene||32,828|
|11||Let Trump Be Trump||Corey R. Lewandowski||29,461|
|13||Directorate S||Steve Coll||24,296|
|14||Together We Rise||The Women’s March organizers||15,586|
|15||War on Peace||Ronan Farrow||14,270|
|16||Political Tribes||Amy Chua||12,257|
|17||Thank You for Being Late||Thomas L. Friedman||11,456|
|18||The List||Amy Siskind||10,954|
|19||Suicide of the West||Jonah Goldberg||10,409|
|20||Dark Money||Jane Mayer||10,306|
This article was updated with further information.